I remember the day it all started. I was 15 and spending the summer at Governor’s school, immersed in 20th century philosophy, the strangest choral music I had ever experienced, and the kind of earnest conversations only the very young and very bright have the arrogance to enjoy.
It bore the innocuous title of Under Milk Wood, and I was still too young and ignorant to recognize who Dylan Thomas was. I went in and sat down, a little irked that we were required to be there and a little intrigued at the things I had heard from other girls in my dorm.
The lights went down; and in the moments after they came back up I died and was reborn.
I forgot about irritation and intrigue, and lost myself in the new world that filled my senses and became, for those few hours, my only reality. The same people with whom I had been living and eating and studying for the past weeks were transformed before my eyes into the magnificent sinners of the town of Llareggub, and somewhere in their madness I found my sanity. In those moments, I could suddenly “hear and see, behind the eyes of the sleepers, the movements and countries and mazes and colours and dismays and rainbows and tunes and wishes and flight and fall and despairs and big seas of their dreams”.
I emerged from that place unaware that in that short span of time my soul had become an acolyte of Melpomene and Thalia, and how demanding these my muses of tragedy and comedy would be in years to come.
Now they once again demand their sacrifice, and in tears and sleepless nights I lay myself on their altar, a slave to the fleeting magic of their touch. To create is all that matters, the costs of that creation forgotten in the frantic pouring out of my lifeblood in search of those few moments between curtain rise and fall, those few moments when the world is transformed and the muses are sated.
I am, like Mr. Edwards, draper mad with love. But what a glorious madness it is.